Morocco is careful to respect the rights of the Moroccan community living abroad when concluding international agreements, said Nasser Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, in Rabat on Tuesday. In a statement to the press, the minister stressed that while Morocco is committed to international efforts to combat tax evasion, the financing of terrorism and money laundering, it cannot take any measures that could undermine the rights of the Moroccan community abroad, to which HM King Mohammed VI pays special attention. This statement came at the end of a legislative session in the House of Representatives, during which it was unanimously decided to postpone the vote on two bills approving, respectively, the multilateral agreement between competent authorities on the exchange of country-by-country declarations and the multilateral agreement between competent authorities on the automatic exchange of financial account information, initialled by the Kingdom of Morocco on 25 June 2019. The government has closely followed the debate generated by certain provisions of these agreements, particularly among members of the Moroccan community abroad, “who have raised legitimate questions and a number of fears, as well as a number of pertinent remarks,” said Bourita. Interaction with Parliament through the House of Representatives, whether within the framework of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, National Defense, Islamic Affairs and Moroccan Expats or during the legislative session, has revealed that the deputies have made the same observations, he added, noting that the government “has provided a clear response on this issue, as this category of Moroccans is the subject of special concern by HM the King. The provisions of these agreements that are the subject of the debate will be explained, if necessary, in order to dispel any confusion and avoid any misinterpretation in the future, the Minister assured, adding that the government is ready to “provide further guarantees by ensuring that certain clauses are modified, if necessary.” In this regard, Bourita noted that the government has responded positively to the postponement of the vote on these two bills in order to further clarify or renegotiate these agreements. “All issues concerning the Moroccan community abroad are important and all fears and comments must be taken into account,” he stressed, asserting that no agreement “can be approved before ensuring that all guarantees are met and that the rights of the Moroccan community abroad are not violated.” The seven international conventions unanimously approved by the House of Representatives during the same legislative session strengthen Morocco’s relations with its Arab, African and Islamic space and are part of the implementation of HM King Mohammed VI’s high directives to consolidate Morocco’s international relations, diversify its partnerships and develop.
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